The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 46 no 13 | 5–9 April 2021


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back after a perfect Easter weekend.  A huge thank you to Nikki Azzopardi for arranging the delicious hot cross buns last Thursday, and to the Physics Centres of Excellence for generously donating copious baskets of Easter Eggs.

Last Thursday I also had the pleasure of sitting on the selection panel for our new Department Heads, joined by the Directors of the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and of the Research School of Earth Sciences respectively, Professors Joan Leach and Dorrit Jacob. My thanks to Dorrit and Joan for their diligence and fine company. I speak for the panel when I say it was an immensely enjoyable day engaging with so many capable advocates for the role. Personally, I could not have been more pleased in seeing the depth of leadership in our School. We are in good hands now and into the future. I would like to thank all applicants for their considered submissions and conversations on Thursday. After speaking with all applicants, it is a delight to announce the following colleagues to lead the new Departments;

Prof Jodie Bradby for “Materials Physics & Characterisation”
Prof Cédric Simenel for “Computational & Theoretical Physics”
Prof Lan Fu for “Device and Materials Engineering” 
Prof Andrew Truscott for “Photonic & Quantum Systems”
Prof Andrew Stuchbery for “Accelerator Science” 

While this is a critical step, the actual transition to the new Departments is still a little way off. This announcement triggers the next phase in moving towards the new School structure, specifically, choosing Department names. I have asked the existing Heads to kindly assist the incoming Heads to gather consensus around proposed Departmental names. Once names have been discussed in the School Executive they will be proposed to the Dean, and onward to the VC. Over this period I will also be confirming with you your preferred Department affiliation.

While we await the new structure to be formalised, the smooth operation of the School will still very much rely on the existing Heads. Needless to say, I am very grateful to the existing Heads in this transition period. Until we establish an official date of transfer please continue to refer all leave, grants and purchase requests to your existing supervisors/Heads.

My thanks to Samara Thorn, the TMOS Engagement Manager, who snapped this wonderful pic as the Roulettes roared over our building site last Wednesday during the flyover commemorating the centenary of the Australian Airforce.

Have a nice week,


The Leo Mahony Bursary

The Leo Mahony Bursary for 2021 for the United Services Institute ACT – the bursary is awarded annually to Masters (by research) and doctoral scholars studying in the field of national security and defence at an ACT-based university.

Applications closing date is 31 July.

» read more


Digital Agriculture PhD Supplementary Scholarship

CSIRO and ANU are offering exciting opportunities to work with leading research scientists and engineers, and play an important role in the future of digital agriculture. 

The 2021 round for the Digital Agriculture PhD Supplementary Scholarship top-up Awards are now open.

» read more


HDR Update April 2021

Activities and workshops available this month, open to all HDR candidates.

» read more


Workshops tailored to the Physics Student

This year Academic Skills and Learning Centre are once again offering workshops tailored to the Physics students interests and needs.

We had very positive feedback about these workshops from the students who attended the previous year’s workshops and found them valuable.

» read more


Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program

The Australian Science Policy Fellowship program is continuing, after its successful three year pilot program. The program gives early- and mid-career scientists the opportunity to work in a Commonwealth Government department for 12 months.

The program hopes to attract diverse, highly-skilled and enthusiastic scientists into the Australian Public Service.

Applications will be open from April 7 to April 26.

» read more


Physics Higher Degree Supervisor Training - Workshop Announcement

The School will be offering locally organised workshops to all prospective or current supervisors of higher degree students. These workshops will meet the training requirement for the Higher Degree Supervision Annual Registration Renewal. Note that this is an alternative to workshops being offered centrally, as such they are not compulsory. Our aim in having locally run workshops is that they can be tailored to our needs.

» read more


Upcoming Researcher Development Events

ANU Researcher Development coordinates and facilitates workshops, events, and competitions to develop your skills even further. 

» read more


National Library of Australia 2022 Fellowships

Apply for a National Library Fellowship
The National Library has diverse collections that support, inspire and transform research. Fellowships enable scholars, writers and researchers to conduct intensive research into our collections in a supportive, intellectual and creative environment.

» read more




Oliphant Tea Room

The Oliphant tea room is open with tea bags & black coffee* only.

Please remember to bring your own cup & spoon.

*coffee grounds for garden use are available


Acting Director

Prof. Hoe Tan



Julie Arnold will be on leave 25/3/21-9/4/21


Building and Room Security Access

Please note that the school now has a general access restriction of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.  

If you need to complete a new after-hours risk assessment, please see the new top section here:


Know your administrator...

Julie Arnold - EME & NLPC

Petra Rickman - NP/HIAF & ARC CDM

Belinda Barbour - DQS

Nikki Azzopardi - AM, CPF, LPC & TP


Toilet Etiquette

Can all at RSPhys please keep the toilet facilities as clean as possible after use. Please be courteous and check that the seat and bowl are clean before you leave the toilet facility. Only toilet paper is to be flushed down the toilet and paper towels and/or sanitary products are to be disposed of in the bins provided. A dirty and unhygienic toilet facility is a health hazard and even though we have cleaners who maintain the cleanliness of the toilets, it is still our responsibility to clean up after ourselves.


Check In CBR App

All RSPhys meeting rooms and teaching spaces now have a QR Code located at their entrance. It is encouraged that everyone at RSPhys use the Check In CBR app when using these rooms, as this will enable the 1 person per 2m2 rule, and follow ACT Health guidelines for improved contact tracing.

It is mandatory for all RSPhys visitors to use the Check In CBR App to 'check in'. An additional check in point is located at RSPhys reception. If you require a QR code for your area, please contact

1.5m physical distance must still be followed in all scenarios


Free Flu Vaccinations

The University is committed to supporting our staff to maintain their health and wellbeing during the upcoming influenza season and for this reason is ensuring that FREE flu vaccinations for staff are available again this year.

The University has two options for receiving the flu vaccination – either on campus at the National Health Co-Op or off-campus by accessing a voucher code to be used at a Terry White Chemist in Canberra.

» read more


Boosting Female Founders Initiative – Round 2 now open

» read more


NHMRC schemes opening in 2021 (Q1)

The College of Science Research Office (CRO) is now inviting notices of intent (NoI) to submit applications for the following schemes opening in 2021.


From Previous Weeks...

Helping HDR candidates with their career options

HDR Boot Camps


Physics @ ANU



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